Steph Houghton has told William Hill that the England women’s national team need to adopt United States’ “winning mentality” if they are to finally go on and be successful at a major tournament.

The Lionesses are still looking for their first triumph at a World Cup or European Championship, having lost out to eventual winners United States in the semi-finals of last summer’s World Cup.

“They’re ruthless and have got so many players with winning mentalities and nothing gets in the way,” Houghton told William Hill of United States. “If we can adopt that mindset a little bit more we’ll be a force to be reckoned with.

“In terms of technical and tactical ability, we’re one of the best in the world and get coached really well on a day-to-day basis when we’re on international duty and also away with clubs. For us it’s about concentrating on England and when we go to the SheBelieves Cup next month, we give a good account of ourselves.”

Houghton added: “It’s fine margins. When you play teams like United States you have to take your chances and you can’t afford to have 20 minutes where you’re not at your best. So for us it’s about maintaining the way we’re playing and believing in the philosophy that Phil [Neville] has got us playing under.

“We need a little more belief but as the games go on we gain that little bit more experience and confidence. It’s not just about the 11 players on the pitch it’s about the 23 and all the staff. We’re really excited about the SheBelieves Cup, it’s going to be a big test for us and we’re really looking forward to it.”

England head into next month’s SheBelieves Cup as the holders and open their campaign against world champions United States.

“We won the SheBelieves Cup last year, which was amazing,” Houghton said. “For us as a team it’s great for us to go over there and play some really good teams in United States, Japan and Spain that all bring different qualities.

“It’s good to test ourselves and gain experience. There’s a lot of young players in the squad now so to experience that tournament schedule, where you’re playing, recovering and travelling, it’s what’s going to be relevant to the Olympics and Euros as well. It’s about us getting out there, enjoying being in America but also testing ourselves against the best.”

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